Music from The Blue Bird
Maurice Maeterlinck’s fairy play The Blue Bird was first performed at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket in 1909. The play enjoyed phenomenal success: Maeterlinck himself later said that the stage designs ‘interpreted the story from within.’.
These designs by Frederick Cayley Robinson (1867–1927) and Sidney Sime (1867–1941), acquired in 2006 by The Fitzwilliam Museum with support from the Art Fund and the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, form the basis of a stunning exhibition on display from October 2006 to January 2007.
The performance of The Blue Bird was punctuated by dance sequences, choreographed by Ina Pelly to incidental music by Norman O’Neill, musical director at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket.
From this site, you can listen to, or download, the piano accompaniment for four of these dance sequences, performed by Fiona Cox, and recorded in September 2006. The Museum is grateful to Fiona Cox and to Alasdair Morrison for their enthusiastic collaboration.
The dance sequences, as they were performed in the play are:
- Dance of the Hours Act I, The Woodcutter’s Cottage
- Dance of Fire and Water Act I, The Woodcutter’s Cottage
- Dance of the Mist Maids Act II, scene 2, The Land of Memory
- Dance of the Stars Act III, scene 1, The Palace of Night
The text which accompanies the images is drawn from Maeterlinck’s The Blue Bird, translated by Alexander Teixeira de Mattos, published by Methuen & Co., London, 1911.
Chasing Happiness: Maurice Maeterlinck, The Blue Bird and England an exhibition at The Fitzwilliam Museum
Maurice Maeterlinck at wikipedia
The Blue Bird (L'Oiseau Bleu) at wikipedia
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